Overcoming Hashimoto Disease

Tell your story

Our lives are a book. Plots differ and the conflict varies, but we each have a story to tell. A story that is filled with chapters.  A story meant to be shared with those around us. This is how we learn, grow and help each other. It's with that in mind I write this post. I want to share one chapter of my story. The part that involves getting a diagnosis of Hashimoto thyroiditis and how I overcame it.  To do that I need to flip back the pages that started ten years ago. If you don’t want to keep reading and want the short version, here it is: I was diagnosed with subclinical hypothyroidism which was a result of Hashimoto disease. Basically, my body was attacking my thyroid and it wasn't producing the right amount of hormones. I was put on thyroid medication for seven years. Thanks to lifestyle changes, I'm no longer on medication and the last I checked, my autoimmune condition and thyroid lab results were good. I’m over-the-moon grateful for this! The end. Well, not really. Keep reading to learn what changes I made to get to this point. 


The longer version of this story is that dis-ease doesn't happen overnight. It took years of making lifestyle changes. It isn't like an injury. It doesn't happen in a day. Rather it takes years to show up. The symptoms usually start slowly, and unless you are paying close attention, you may not notice the signals your body is sending that something is wrong-until it's a full blown problem!

As symptoms go unchecked or ignored, a ripple effect begins in the body and systems start to break down. What happens to the gut, affects the brain. What happens to the brain affects physical symptoms. And on and on it goes. You can’t  isolate what’s happening with one system of your body without it affecting another. 

For me, no special thanks to years of breathing in the toxic byproduct of mold, my gut became compromised and my cortisol levels high, causing an autoimmune reaction. Throw in the inflammatory effects of foods with gluten, dairy and processed sugar and I was a mess. 

All this to say, the first diagnosis I received was subclinical hypothyroidism, which was brought on by Hashimoto disease, my body’s autoimmune reaction to the chronic stress it was under from a boatload of mycotoxins. Getting “treatment” for my thyroid seemed like the logical thing to do, so I listened to my functional medicine practitioner, trusting her to steer me in the right direction. Looking back, I would have done things differently. The truth is, the thyroid meds never really worked. My dosage was continuously being tweaked, and we never found that sweet spot. 

It wasn't until I met with my third functional medicine doctor years later that a lightbulb moment happened. I remember asking him if his clinic would be able to continue filling my levothyroxine prescription. His words were “If that’s what you want.” 

If that’s what I WANT?  Wait. What? No, actually, I don't. I just thought I'd fall apart if I went off of it. A little dramatic, I know.  It was the first time  time I realized the victim mentally I was holding onto.

All of a sudden, I Felt empowered

I’ve never wanted to be on meds. It’s always been my goal to wean myself off. That's when I stopped cold turkey. Now, I’m not advocating this approach for everyone. I know enough about meds to know that’s not always wise, but it worked out alright for me. In fact, it was better than alright because taking the meds wasn't the only thing I was doing to support my thyroid health.

Just as dis-ease in your body doesn't happen overnight, on the same note, healing doesn’t happen overnight either.  The truth is, I didn’t take the medication to heal me. I took it to relieve my symptoms. In theory, the synthetic hormones were supposed to replace the ones my body was no longer making. The problem with this kind of "treatment" is that it makes the assumption the body is unfixable and I happen to completely disagree. The human body is fearfully and wonderfully made and is designed to heal itself...if given the right tools. 

So, the meds weren't a permanent fix. There was still a problem and I still wanted to fix it. I didn’t want to spend my life in a doctor’s office every three-six months, which was what I had been doing, and I didn’t want to be constantly tweaking the dosage to fit my body’s ever changing needs. I wanted to be off the meds altogether.  My goal was, and always will be, to heal my body from the inside out so I can live my best life. As long as I needed medication, I felt like I hadn’t accomplished my goal. 

The Health Plan That Worked For Me

Which leads me to what I DID DO to finally be able to help my body repair the damage done. 
  1. I did use food as medicine. I eliminated  inflammatory foods such as gluten, dairy, refined sugar, processed foods and highly refined vegetable oils. I adopted the paleo eating plan. I filled my plate with wholesome fruits, vegetables, quality protein and healthy fats. 

  1. I did prioritize sleep and rest.  This is a must. Sleep is restorative, so I took time to slow down and rest. It was also important to control my stress levels. When I let stress get out of control, it taxes my adrenal glands and it increases the hormone cortisol. High levels of cortisol lead to all kinds of other problems. Besides, little did I know back then, my cortisol was being affected by the mycotoxins my body was unable to detox fast enough. 

  1. I did kick environmental toxins from my life. I stopped using over the counter room sprays and plug-ins. I threw away synthetic perfumes. I began using quality essential oils. I applied a blend called Endoflex over my thyroid daily and a blend called Joy over my heart. I also incorporated the habit of diffusing oils like lavender, peace and calming and cedar wood to help me sleep. Thieves essential oil became a staple in my home to clean the air and support my immune system. The list could go on, but suffice it to say, my house never smelled so good and my body began to thank me for lessening the toxic load it has been carrying. If this is a change you want to make, then please go the extra mile and make sure the oils you get are not filled with the very same chemicals you are trying hard to eliminate. I can help you find the best. Just say the word. 

  1. I did read labels and understand what’s in the products I use. Ingredients matter in everything. Check out EWG.org to start learning what's in your household cleaners and skin care products. 

 5.  I did acknowledge that I cannot compartmentalize my emotional, physical and mental health. One affects the other. Everything in your body is connected. Your brain. Your gut. Every organ, When one malfunctions, it's a ripple effect. This is why I'm still on a journey of healing. It takes time to address every area of my life and make the necessary changes that leads me to optimal health. 

 6. I did see the power of positive thoughts and beliefs. Toxic thoughts and negative emotion have the ability to sabotage my progress. Not to mention, they can be stored in the body and cause their own havoc. 

 7. I did work with professional functional and holistic providers to identify underlying issues that are affecting my overall health. After years of guess work and paying for endless doctor visits, I found someone willing to do all the things (extensive testing and bloodwork) to help me find the root cause of my disease.

 8. I did focus on gut health. This has been a game changer!

 9 I did educate myself. I’ve spent years reading books and listening to podcasts.  Eat Dirt, The Paleo Cure, The Thyroid Connection, Grain Brain, and No Grain No Pain have been instrumental in my learning journey. I listen to podcasts, such as The Art of Being Well with Dr. Will ColeDanielle Walker, and Paleo Running Momma have been an excellent resource for recipes. I did my homework. 

10. I did add high quality supplements. This is unique to each person and is where a trusted professional practitioner can help. My go-to has been to find a holistic and functional medicine practitioner. 

It’s been a long journey filled with celebrations and frustrations, but one of my greatest victories lies in the knowledge that I have some control over my health journey. I don't have to sit back and let things happen to me. Neither do you. The decisions you make day to day are writing the next chapter of your story.  I encourage you to take some time today to change the narrative. 

I hope my story has inspired you. I hope you heard the message I truly wanted to convey:  the trajectory of your health can be changed. Your story may not be mine, and you may have to tweak my suggestions to fit our own unique needs, but it can be a jumping off point for you to start researching and finding the plan that brings you closer to your own health goals.

How are you needing help on your health journey? I'm not a medical professional and cannot diagnose or promise any results, but I can certainly share more in depth what I've found to be helpful in healing my bodycontact me

Until next time

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